Sonko maintains he is the governor of Nairobi

By Vivere Nandiemo | Thursday, Mar 5th 2020 at 12:58
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Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has maintained that he is still the governor even though he has ceded vital functions to the national government. Mr Sonko, who was speaking on Citizen TV on Wednesday, said just like any other Kenyan, he is innocent until proved guilty.

“I want to talk to the great people of Nairobi and tell them that I am still the governor of Nairobi. I can see the public participation has started. Even though I will not go into details of those particular issues,” said Mr Sonko.

Last week the governor relinquished key functions to the national government after signing an agreement with President Uhuru Kenyatta in state house. The functions surrendered by Mr Sonko included Health, transport and public works, utilities and ancillary, planning, and development services. Critics argue that relinquishing these key roles renders Mr Sonko powerless and a mere figurehead.

However, Mr Sonko maintains that he will not bite the bullet and resign. “Resigning will be a selfish decision to make. I will not betray the people who voted for me. I was voted for over by people of Nairobi, and there is no way I can let my people down. One thing I want to tell Kenyans, let us not politicize development,” said Mr Sonko.

He added: “The national government has been there. In 2017 it was there in the regeneration programmes initiated by the president. He was in Jacaranda when we were launching the title deeds programme. He also came to Eastlands to launch the roads which were done by the national government. We have done so many projects together.”

The unprecedented hand over move came following the corruption cases facing Mr Sonko. He was last December charged with corruption and abuse of office, which saw Sh357million lost, and subsequently, he was blocked from accessing his City Hall office. These cases left the county in a state of limbo with service delivery severely hampered as Mr Sonko had not appointed a Deputy Governor since the resignation of Mr Polycarp Igathe.

Plans were underway in Nairobi County Assembly to impeach Mr Sonko. However, these plans appear to have been dismissed by President Uhuru Kenyatta after a meeting with Nairobi MCAs on Saturday last week. Mr Sonko says that he did not strike any deal with President Uhuru that saw him being saved from the impeachment. “I did not have a deal with the president,” he maintained.

The besieged governor dismissed the perception that the president favours him, hence he was not sent home like former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu. “The president is a true friend. He is a genuine friend to any hardworking leader. He is my mentor. You cannot compare Kiambu case with this one of Nairobi. What Waititu did, is he denied the county assembly a quorum, and he went and hid somewhere in Lake Bogoria with his MCAs. The quorum hitch never worked. The MCAs and senators were bitter.”

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